Fresh green beans are sautéed with olive oil, butter, garlic, shallots, and a splash of balsamic vinegar. This easy side dish with only a handful of ingredients is not only delicious, but made in a single large skillet.
Labor Day weekend, here and gone. I was in bed until nearly 10am on Sunday. This mama seems to love sleep more every day. There’s something about sleeping in when you have NOTHING to get up for. The mental to-do list can be sidelined without the fear of payback — 3-day weekends can offer that. Here in southwest Michigan, the weather was absolute perfection and we crammed in a little bit of everything we love about summer, including visits from our families.
Our next family time may very well be the holidays and other than the ones we love, the food at holiday time is most certainly worth looking forward to. Holiday dinner tables often include some type of a green bean mixture. While this recipe screams holidays to me, green beans are the little black dress of green vegetables: always in style and always a good choice.
ROLL CALL FOR THIS RECIPE
- Holiday Favorite: Green bean casserole is a mainstay on nearly every holiday table in the US. Unlike the standard green bean casserole with its heavily processed, high-sodium ingredients, this green bean recipe is the perfect side dish any time of year and is made of wholesome ingredients packing delicious flavor.
- Simple Cooking Process: Green beans are traditionally steamed or boiled before placing into a bath of ice cold water. That’s quite a few extra steps and none of which add flavor. Using a bit of flavorful butter, olive oil, and balsamic vinegar cooks the sauteed green beans in a balsamic glaze mixture offering big flavor and fun presentation with less effort and dishes!
- Side Dish Inspo: I’m a huge fan of the one pot delights and all-in-one meals, so if I’m going to make a side dish it will always be next level delish while being visually delightful! This recipe most definitely deserves a spot at the dinner table!
KEY INGREDIENTS AND SUBSTITUTIONS
- Butter: Unsalted butter (also known as sweet cream butter) allows you to adjust the salt in the recipe more easily, however salted is fine to use.
- Olive Oil: Extra virgin olive oil is my go-to as a minimally processed, rich, wholesome oil. The flavor is perfect for these balsamic glazed green beans. You can absolutely substitute in another mild-flavored oil of choice, such as sunflower, safflower, or avocado oil.
- Shallots: Mild onion-flavor from shallots is unique, however you can substitute in sweet or yellow onion, or omit altogether.
- Green Beans: I used fresh, regular green beans, however French-style or French-cut beans will work well, too. Simply reduce the sauté time by 2-3 minutes to ensure the beans remain crisp-tender. In place of green beans, quartered brussels sprouts would be a fun substitute.
- Garlic: Fresh garlic is best and feel free to add more or less to your liking! The jarred garlic is just to use, as is garlic powder — 1/2 teaspoon would be recommended.
- Balsamic Vinegar: Buy something thick and syrupy or consider simmering a lower quality vinegar for a few minutes to reduce by about half before using in this recipe. If you prefer to white balsamic vinegar, that works well, too. If your vinegar is not reduced or slightly syrupy in consistency, reduce to 1 1/2 tablespoons and use 1/2 tablespoon maple syrup or honey.
- Salt: A bit of salt ties together the sweet and savory elements of this recipe perfectly! You can try with less salt or a salt substitute, if you prefer. Any salt will do, however a fine grain is best to most easily distribute throughout as a very small amount is used!
- Black Pepper: A few churns on a pepper grinder enhances the flavors of the balsamic vinegar nicely. Feel free to use more, less, or none.
- Almonds: Chopped, slivered, or sliced almonds will work, as will another type of nut: pecans, walnuts, etc. I used a plain sliced almond variety, however a raw, smoked, or salted version of your favorite or what you have on hand is great. It’s that bit of crunch that adds to the recipe, as well as the nice color contrast.
What color indicates a green bean is properly cooked?
While steamed or boiled green beans will turn a bright green color when done, sauteed green beans will go from a bright green to slightly darkened depending on the level of doneness. If beans “squeak” when being eaten, they are generally under-cooked. The beans will continue to cook slightly after removing from heat, so best to err on the side of under-cooking to ensure crisp green beans.
How do you reduce balsamic vinegar?
Place 1/4 cup vinegar in a small sauce pan and bring to a simmer over medium-low heat. Simmer for 2-3 minutes or until syrupy and reduced by half.
- A fun little fact about green beans: while not high in protein, green beans offer more protein than many veggies. Green beans are anti-inflammatory and rich in fiber, folate, and potassium.
- Allergen-Friendly: gluten-free, swap olive oil to be dairy-free, omit almonds to be nut-free
- Vegetarian: sub olive oil for butter to make vegan
- With just over 100 milligrams of sodium, this recipe is low in sodium
VARIATIONS, STORAGE, and TIPS
- For an extra bit of flare, you can add dried cranberries or crumbled goat cheese to this recipe. Add the cranberries at the same time as the garlic and goat cheese along with the almonds. Adding a teaspoon or two of Dijon mustard along with the balsamic vinegar can add a little bit of tang.
- Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
- If you want to add a bit of extra flavor, toast the almonds over medium heat for 3-4 minutes or until fragrant, shaking the handle of the skillet often. Remove the toasted almonds to a plate or dish, then, proceed with the recipe as written.
- 1 Tbsp butter
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 shallots, thinly sliced
- 1 lb green beans, trimmed
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 tsp salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1/3 cup sliced almonds
- Heat butter and olive oil in a large skillet, cast iron if available, over medium-high heat until hot.
- Add the shallots and cook for 1 minute, stirring often. Add the green beans and toss with tongs to coat in the oil and butter. Cook for 6-8 minutes, rotating with the tongs every 1-2 minutes.
- Add the garlic and balsamic vinegar; mix and allow to cook for 1-2 minutes more.
- Top with sliced almonds before serving hot.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: about 1 cup
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 105Total Fat: 7.5gCholesterol: 5mgSodium: 103mgCarbohydrates: 8.5gFiber: 2.7gSugar: 3.7gProtein: 2.8g
Crazy for green beans? Lots of options!
- Summer Veggie Soup
- Pesto Salmon and Italian Veggies in Foil
- Green Bean Casserole with Cauliflower Cream
- Thai Red Beef Curry with Green Beans
- Sheet Pan BBQ Meatloaf Dinner
- Baked Green Bean Fries with Basil Aioli